Other Turns

Object, 2016

A prequel to the In Turn chess set, Other Turns explores nine alternatives of the King piece. Each version explores different composition of turns hinging around the X, Y and Z axes. The project builds a material logic out of the conceptual and geometrical basis of the Chess Set: profiles turned on 90-degree increments. Built out of laminated Red Western Cedar planks, each turn is manufactured via flip CNC milling.

Subtractive manufacturing coupled with the layered nature of the wood stock further amplifies the notion of profiles via a myriad of seams that delimit regions of wood grain. Seams therefore recreate offsets of either the profiles of the chess pieces or the sweeping curves of geometrical unfolding. These take the form of cross-section or topographical curves –depending on how the axial composition of the wood lamination is registered against the circular tool paths.

The original formal and conceptual struggle existing between frontality and axial rotation that fostered the Chess Set studies reaches other levels of speculation when realized via juxtaposition of textured materiality. Wood’s sidedness (face-grain, edge-grain and end-grain) convenes to expose sub regions within formal languages and figural constitutions. However, these regions do not coalesce into a coherent description, as the myriad of grain orientations, textures and seams defies conventional shading techniques, producing its own description of the piece. Its realism seems to flourish where stereotomy meets material texture, calling into question the very posture of the whole object. 

TEAM Stephan Bica & Wang-Hsuan Kung